September 27, 2018 / 11:36 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Russian cenbank says FX liquidity better in Sept vs Aug

(Adds cenbank official’s quotes, details)

MOSCOW, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Foreign currency liquidity in Russian banks improved in September compared with August, the head of the regulator’s financial stability department told reporters on Thursday.

The central bank had previously said foreign exchange liquidity worsened last month due to deposit outflows from large banks and non-residents selling off OFZs.

Financial stability department chief Elizaveta Danilova said the decline of liquidity in August could have been caused by companies withdrawing currency from banks in anticipation of possible new U.S. sanctions against Russia.

Danilova said that the central bank did not see any notable change in the pattern of behavior from Russian exporters selling currencies.

The rouble typically reacts to tax payments by Russian exporters of minerals resources such as Rosneft and Gazprom. Exporters usually convert their foreign currency revenues in order to meet local tax duties in the second half of every month.

“We are monitoring the largest companies... and we see that they haven’t changed their behavior, they are repatriating forex revenues and sell a significant share on the currency market regularly”, Danilova said. (Reporting by Elena Fabrichnaya; Writing by Andrey Kuzmin; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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